Automobile shoppers were strong weekend warriors in November, according to the Cars.com November On-the-Lot (OTL) report.
As we have done each month with our OTL reports, we used our patented Lot Insights technology to study data from shoppers who use their mobile phones to visit Cars.com while they’re on dealerships’ lots. For November, we examined the most popular times of the week and day that car shoppers visit dealerships’ lots – which we had done in August, May, February, and January 2018. Here’s what we found:
Shoppers Love the Weekend
For November, we tracked a surge in weekend visits, with Friday and Saturday daily foot traffic jumping 50 percent higher than average daily foot traffic for Monday-Thursday. The popularity of Black Friday weekend may explain this rise.
Afternoon Is Prime Time
As we’ve seen each month, the most popular time to visit the lot was mid-to-late afternoon, peaking as late as 4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. during the week. Shoppers might be planning their visits to dealerships after they complete research earlier in the day. Whatever the reason, dealers should be ready to staff for peak visits in the afternoon – and plan keyword search bids and other forms of real-time marketing and advertising to attract shoppers when they are more ready to buy in the afternoon.
What Dealerships Should Do
This data should help dealerships prepare your salespeople to be ready to engage with mobile shoppers, especially during the afternoon hours when visits peak. Assume that mobile shoppers are comparing your vehicles with your competitors’ inventory. Have your smartphone ready to review the same inventory your customers are probably reviewing.
In addition, close the year strong. As we noted in our post about Black Friday weekend, the notion that holiday shoppers are too busy to look at cars does not hold true. Shoppers are doing their research and stopping by lots. And they are motivated to buy.